Summary: An unusual Aboriginal engraving site on a vertical rock surface, which includes a Baiame and Daramulan figure.

Not far from the Benowie Track is an unusual Aboriginal engraving site, with overlapping engravings carved on a rock surface. It was first described by R.H. Mathews in 1895: “The central figures of the group are suggestive of a woman with a child upon her lap. The larger figure has four longitudinal stripes on the body, a belt around the waist, a band across the thigh, and another on the arm; there is also what appears to be a head-dress. Beside this figure are a number of lines resembling those cut .upon the ground and upon trees, and known “yammunyamun” among some tribes. These lines terminate behind the nether part of the body in an object resembling a human foot. The smaller figure, which may be intended for a child, has also a belt around the waist, and the line forming the lower side of the arm is continued across the body; the only features shown are the eyes.

Benowie Track vertical engraving

It’s difficult to determine the individual motifs as they are intertwined: Stegg & Campbell included this in their book as illustrating the challenges of interpreting Aboriginal rock engravings: “It also brings into discussion the problems of recording sites when one has preconceived ideas about the subject-matter, or indeed when one has no idea of the subject matter“. The figures (arguably) include a Baiame figure, and a seated Daramulum figure with an infant or small child on his lap, and a koala.

engraving Benowie Track Benowie Track (Berowra Waters)

Benowie Track (Berowra Waters) - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

Located to the north-west of Sydney, just south of the Dharug and Yengo National Parks, Maroota has a high concentration of (known) Aboriginal sites. Many more Aboriginal heritage sites are located in the Marramarra National Park. The original inhabitants of the area were the Darug people.
Over 40 sites have been recorded within the park; many were located along the river bank and were flooded by the building of the weir in 1938.
Over a hundred Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Hornsby region, with many of these in the Berowra Valley National Park and around the suburb of Berowra.
Yengo National Park was an important spiritual and cultural place for the Darkinjung and Wonnarua People for thousands of years, and 640 Aboriginal cultural sites are recorded in the park and nearby areas.
There are about 300 recorded Aboriginal heritage sites in Wollemi National Park, with the rugged and remote environment meaning many sites are yet to be "discovered" and recorde.
Many sites Aboriginal engraving sites across the inner suburbs of Sydney have been destroyed or are very weatheredl. The sites which remain are isolated from their natural environment.
Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,040 other subscribers

1 Comment

Berowra Heights Circuit | Hiking the World · August 23, 2021 at 6:23 pm

[…] before the carpark (at the end of Kirkpatrick Way) is an unusual Aboriginal engraving site, which is on a vertical rock surface. While it’s close to the path, I would have walked past […]

Leave a Reply